Ehe im Schatten and Long is the Road

with Frank Stern (Department of History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

Thursday, April 10, 1997, 7:00pm - 7:00pm

A screening of two films in connection with the lecture "Counter Images of Memory: Jews in Postwar German Cinema" by Frank Stern.

Ehe im Schatten/Marriage in the Shadows
(dir. Kurt Maetzig, East Germany, Defa, 1947, 96 min., German with English subtitles, based on a novel by Hans Schweikart)

"This post-war East German feature film is based on a true story of a mixed marriage in Nazi Germany. It attacks the cowardice of all the people who refused to fight against the Nazis, especially those artists who thought they were above politics. A famous Jewish actress is blacklisted. Hans, a good friend, marries her, hoping that he can protect her. While she vegetates at home, he becomes a popular kitsch actor in movies and spends less and less time with his wife. Sub-plots reveal Germany's decline from arrogant world power to beleaguered country, the rising persecution of the Jews and others, and increasing economic hardships. "Marriage in the Shadows" provides one of the clearest illustrations of the complicity of ordinary people which made the Holocaust possible." --The National Center for Jewish Film

Lang ist der Weg/Long is the Road
(dirs. Herbert B. Fredersdof and Marek Goldstein, screenplay by Karl-Geog Kulb and Israel Becker, U.S.-occupied Germany, 1948, 77 min., Yiddish, German and Polish with English subtitles)

Previously unavailable in a complete version (the film was cut because it was thought too graphic for American audiences), Long is the Road has been restored and re-released by the National Center for Jewish Film. "The first feature film to represent the Holocaust from a Jewish point of view has the power of a collective self-portrait. Made by and about Jewish displaced persons, the film was shot on location at Camp Landsberg, the largest Jewish DP camp in Bavaria. Effectively mixing neorealistic and expressionistic styles, the film follows a Polish Jew (played by Israel Becker, one of the founders of the first professional Yiddish theater company in postwar Germany) and his family from the thriving Jewish community of pre-ghetto Warsaw through the horrors of Auschwitz to the frustrations and instability of refugee life in the DP camps, culminating in the emergence of a yearning and hope for rebirth and renewal in Israel." -- The National Center for Jewish Film.

Co-sponsored by Program in Cinema and Media Studies, Committee on Jewish Studies